There have been many amazing people in my life. Some of them as crazy as me. One of my favorites was Lisa the wife of an Episcopal minister. She was raised a Quaker and her way of looking at things was a learning experience for me.
She always had something to say about how to draw closer to God and it was usually profound. She often used the expression “center down” which meant stop, think, and listen for God. She talked about Quaker meetings where members sat in silence and waited for someone to be moved by the Spirit to speak.
She told the story of a Quaker funeral where the man who died was not a nice man. He had been mean and unkind his whole life. At the funeral she attended the people sat quietly until someone had something they wanted to say about the deceased. Apparently the silence went on for a very long time. Finally a man rose to speak and said “He was better than his brother.”
I loved this story. It made me think. What if my funeral were like that. What would people say? Would anyone speak? Has my life had enough meaning? Have I practiced kindness and compassion? Maybe it’s just as well that funerals in my church are not done that way. Maybe that’s why they aren’t!
I will never forget one of her comments which was so powerful that it challenges me daily. She said: “the people we know best are the ones we communicate with the most. How is your communication with God?”